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The U.S. Supreme Court just doesn’t seem to know what to make of the titanic copyright clash between Oracle Corp. and Google LLC over the Java application programming interfaces, or APIs.

The high court asked the Solicitor General’s Office to weigh in for a second time on Google v. Oracle, which Google calls “the copyright case of the century.” The justices first asked for the SG’s views when the only question before the court was the copyrightability of the APIs, 11,500 lines of code that form a structure for basic programming functions. The SG found them copyrightable, and the court declined to take up the case at that time.

This time Google is asking the court to review both copyrightability and whether Google’s copying of the APIs into its Android operating system was a fair use. A jury said it was, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled it was not a fair use as a matter of law.

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Scott Graham

Scott Graham focuses on intellectual property and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He writes ALM's Skilled in the Art IP briefing. Contact him at [email protected]

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